I recently bought one size medium rat proof chicken feeder from Al at the Carpenter shop since we have had a rat infestation. My hens are slowly learning, however, the ones that are at the bottom of the pecking order just stand back and watch because there isn't room for them. How many do you guys have? I have 10 hens. Do you think this will be enough or should I order another?
How many feeders per hen?
It depends on a few things.....
1) type of chickens you have (different chickens eat different amounts of food)
2) How many pounds of feed does the "medium" feeder hold
3) How often do you feed
One of my coops I have a 15 pound feeder with Buff Orph and plymouth rock and I feed once a week of lay pellets. There is usually around 1/4 of the container left every week prior to filling it to the top. In that coop we have 9 hens and 1 Rooster. They also get greens and super worms every other day.
Thanks for your response. I have a variety of different- 2 Wyandotte, 1 Buff, 4 Easter Eggers, 2 Olive Eggers, and 1 Australorp. I am home to refill the feeder as needed and if we are gone our neighbor takes care of them for us. The feeder holds 26 lbs of feed and 3 hens can eat at a time. I think once they figure it out, they won't be so hungry. Yesterday, I gave them about 10 lessons on eating out of the feeder by holding down the treadle while they stepped on it. Today I went out and one of my wyandottes and my buff were eating out of it just fine. I think I was worried about it at first because they were fighting over it. Now things have seemed to calm down for them. Something new, without open feed all over = a some stress for them, but I think they will catch on just fine. In the end it will be less stress for them than having the rats use their roost as a runway.
26lbs of food should be more then enough for a good amount of time. Make sure that your food stays dry and fresh. You may want to only add half at a time until they catch on? It may take them time to figure it out having to go thru steps in order to get food and may be a little tough on some of the birds. I would make sure to keep an eye on them and the amount of food used to insure all your ladies are getting a proper feeding. Do you add any treats of greens or meal worm/ super worms ? Adding a few dry meal or super worms to the area by the food might attract a little bit of attention and allow them to recognize that area for food. Good luck!